The Great Canadian Wine Challenge

Kudos to Calvin's son Matt!

Kudos to Calvin’s son Matt!

So what happens when two Canadian-wine-loving guys get chatting on Twitter, lamenting the fact that #CanadianWineDay (#CdnWineDay) is only one day? Why, they end up challenging each other to go for a year without drinking (*see the rules) anything but Canadian Wine! And that’s just what happened to Calvin Hanselmann and myself last week. We started putting the details in place over the last several days and we realized that this might be worth opening up to others who want to try the Challenge, so we thought we should document the details. In the discussion we also figured we should have some prizes for anyone who can complete the Challenge, so Calvin and I have put a couple of things together and we’ll find some more during the year I am sure.

The “Rules”

  • NEW! Registration has been extended through the month of September. We’ll keep some prizes just for those who registered before the 1st of September, but we’ll use the month of September to encourage more Canadians to join the Challenge!
  • It is all about drinking great Canadian wine, but it is also about having fun along the way!
  • The duration of the Challenge is 12 calendar months, starting Sept 1, 2013
  • You may only purchase or open Canadian Wine for the duration of the Challenge. This allows for a few exceptions like international wine events that may be attended, dinner parties where the host unwittingly opens something non-Canadian, wine-related courses you may be taking where other wines may be opened, and events like i4c2014 or The Riesling Experience where it would be terrible to miss the international wines on offer. With feedback, we decided to allow for international travel exemption as well, as we know how hard it is to get Canadian wine within Canada, let alone the rest of the world!
  • You must drink wine from at least three (3) provinces during the 12 month period, and at least 12 different wines during that time.
  • Any Canadian wine counts – VQA, non-VQA, fruit wines, anything that involves fermenting fruit from this great country of ours.
  • To join in the fun, declare your intention in the comments section of this post, or email
  • Commit to a weekly update, via Twitter (#TGCWC hashtag), a blog post, or an email to the organizers ( and we will track updates from participants in our weekly update.
  • If you are on Twitter, follow @TGCWC, @TheEvilDoctorD, @UncorkOntario, and use the #TGCWC hashtag of course!
  • As this is not a contest, prizes will be awarded through some random mechanism yet to be determined (at the end of the challenge).
  • Buy some wine from your favourite wineries across Canada and get popping those corks!

Let us know if we have forgotten anything…and in case you wondered – yes, there will be T-shirts!

And if you are a winery or wine-related business and would like to donate some prizes to be awarded at the end, email us at or contact us through Twitter. We’ll be sure to praise you all over the interwebs and in a special blog post.

Happy Canadian Wine Year!

Calvin & Shawn

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107 Responses to The Great Canadian Wine Challenge

  1. I should add that although I registered late because I’ve been out of the country and of Twitter. I have only drunk Canadian wine while in Canada in September including Benjamin Bridge Nova 7, Grand Pre Ortega, Gaspereau Lucie Kuhlman, Luckett Phonebox Red, Devil’s Wishbone Chardonnay, Between the Lines Riesling, Caroline Cellars Gewurztraminer, 33Vines Baco Noir, Norman Hardie Melon de Bourgogne and Hinterland White Cap. Why would I want to drink someone else’s wine when there is such a great selection as this?

  2. Patricia Boulter says:

    Week 1 of the Challenge: I have enjoyed two lovely VQA Ontario wines this weekend. However, I wish they had a better selection of Canadian wine here in Newfoundland. I will have to stock up next time I’m home in Ontario.

  3. Laura says:

    I may be late but since September I have only drank and opened Canadian wine. Love this challenge and look forward to trying some new wines from coast to coast!

  4. Sarah says:

    Just saw this fabulous idea! I don’t know how I missed it but I am completely committed! As an Ontario wine leader and staff member of the LCBO I can guarantee I am always recommending, serving, pouring and drinking Canadian wine! 🙂 I absolutely love this challenge!!

  5. Sharon Rurka says:

    Count me in. I don’t open loads of wine a week and I only drink red. But looking for lots of good ideas of what else to try.

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